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Math Help - calc III problem

  1. #1
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    calc III problem

    Let Z be the set of points whose distance is equal from the points P = (2,3,1) and T = (1, -1, 0).
    The set Z is a ...

    ellipse, plane, sphere, or none of those choices?
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  2. #2
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    A plane.
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  3. #3
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    ...could you explain??
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  4. #4
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    Set up the distance formula as an equality. Square both sides and reduce.
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  5. #5
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    In two dimensional geometry, the set of points that are equidistant from two given points is the perpendicular bisector of the line segment between them- a line.

    Do you see how the same reasoning in three dimensions gives the plane passes through the midpoint of the line segment between the two points and is perpendicular to it?

    Analytically, if one point is (a, b, c) and the other is (u, v, w), saying that (x, y, z) is equidistant from them means that \sqrt{(x- a)^2+ (y- b)^2+ (z- c)^2}= \sqrt{(x- u)^2+ (y- v)^2+ (z- w)^2}.

    Square both sides to get rid of the square roots: (x- a)^2+ (y- b)^2+ (z- c)^2= (x- u)^2+ (y- v)^2+ (z- w)^2.

    Do all of those squares and you will see that the x^2, y^2, and z^2 terms cancel, leaving only a linear equation.
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